I really do need to write a novel with a smashing duel scene!
It has been suggested to me that as Duel is essentially a matter of Etiquette, it should not be unnoticed, and that as ignorance is the parent of mischief, in other cases, it is likely to prove so in this. I am aware, however, that on this subject, so strong is the prejudice of some minds, that is admission to these pages may be condemned. After however maturely weighing the for and against, I have resolved on devoting a chapter thereto, being convinced from much observation and many opportunities, that more meetings arise out of ignorance in this particular than from any other cause. I must now most unqualifiedly protest against the practice of DUEL, even while I fear it cannot be abolished, except by the legislature.
A gentleman is always cool, or rather, never appears in passion in the society of ladies. A man of courage is always collected, and if accustomed to good society will never outrage its feelings, unless brutally attacked; then of course he may be allowed to repel brute force, by the like, the same as he would resist the attack of a highwayman in the presence of ladies, however alarmed they might be; he however who could calmly receive a blow, with the cool determination of clearing the disgrace at the proper opportunity, would undoubtedly the most entitled to the appellation of a perfect gentleman.
Well, more to come later on the proper etiquette or dueling.
This is all from Wikipedia on some famous British and Irish Duels during the early 19th Century.
- 1803: Captain James Macnamara and Colonel Montgomery; over a dispute between their dogs fighting in Hyde Park. Both were wounded, Montgomery mortally. Macnamara was tried for manslaughter at the Old Bailey but was acquitted.
- 1804: Captain Best fatally wounded Thomas Pitt, 2nd Baron Camelford. He died three days later.
- 1807: Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Baronet and James Pauli; both men were wounded.
- 1808: Major Campbell and Captain Boyd; Major Campbell was tried and executed for killing Captain Boyd.
- 1809: George Canning and Lord Castlereagh; Canning was slightly wounded.
- 1815: Daniel O'Connell and Captain John Norcot d'Esterre; d'Esterre was killed.
- 1821: John Scott and Jonathon Henry Christie. Scott was the founder and editor of the London Magazine. The duel was born out of the Cockney School controversy. John Gibson Lockhart had been abusing many of Scott's contributors in Blackwood's Magazine (under a pseudonym (Z), as was then common). In May 1820, Scott began a series of counter-articles, which provoked Lockhart into calling him "a liar and a scoundrel". In February 1820, Lockhart's London agent, J.H. Christie, made a provocative statement, and Scott challenged him. They met on 16 February 1821, at a farm between Camden Town and Hampstead. Christie did not fire in the first round, but there was a misunderstanding between the seconds, resulting in a second round. Scott was hit in the abdomen, and died 11 days later. Christie and his second were tried for willful murder and acquitted; the collection for Scott's family was a notable radical cause.
- 1822: Richard Temple-Grenville, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Chandos and Francis Russell, 7th Duke of Bedford.
- 1824: The 3rd Marquess of Londonderry and Ensign Battier; Battier was a cornet in the Marquess' regiment. When Battier's pistol misfired, he declined the offer of another shot and left. He was later horsewhipped by the Marquess' second Sir Henry Hardinge.
- 1826: David Landale, a linen merchant from Kirkcaldy, duelled with his bank manager, George Morgan, who had slandered his business reputation. This was the last duel to be fought on Scottish soil; George Morgan, a trained soldier, was shot through the chest and mortally wounded by Landale, who had never before held a pistol. Landale was tried for murder but found not guilty. The subject of a book "Duel" by his descendant James Landale.
- 1829: The Duke of Wellington and the 10th Earl of Winchilsea; both aimed wide.
- 1835: Mr Roebuck and Mr Black, editor of the Morning Chronicle
- 1835: William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley and Morgan O'Connell, son of Daniel O'Connell. Alvanley asserted that Morgan's father had been "purchased" by William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne on his accession to the office of Prime Minister, O'Connell retorted by calling Alvanley "a bloated buffoon".
- 1839: The 3rd Marquess of Londonderry and Henry Gratton
- 1840: James Thomas Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan and Captain Harvey Garnett Phipps Tuckett; Captain Tuckett was wounded. Cardigan was arrested, tried in the House of Lords and was acquitted.
- 1840: Prince Louis Napoleon and Charles, Count Léon; Police arrived to prevent the duel; both men were arrested and taken to Bow Street Prison.
- 1843: Colonel Fawcett and Lieutenant Monro, in Camden; Colonel Fawcett was killed.
- 1845: Lieutenant Henry Hawkey, Royal Marines, and Captain James Alexander Seton, British Army ; Captain Seton died on 2 June. This was the last recorded fatal duel fought in England. This is recorded in other sites as having taken place at Browndown Camp, Gosport, Hampshire.